In 2014, two community hospitals that had created an alliance came together to help set direction for the future. The Potential Group was engaged to support the integrated leadership team to engage staff, leaders, patients and partners in an exploration of the role of community hospitals in a challenging environment.
For many, the primary concern was about the survival of these flagship organizations in these communities. After years of cuts and consolidation, these communities did not know if there was a future for these institutions and the thought of needing to travel to larger centres at larger distances was intolerable.
We designed a robust planning process that engaged staff and patients in a series of focus groups to help inform key strategic questions and themes. The themes generated from input from over 200 people were brought together to a large planning summit where hospital staff, leadership and community partners collaborated on setting a vision and identifying priorities for the future.
In the end, TDMH and AHI created a vision to build on their strength as a true community hub that provides quality meaningful care in local communities. The primary focus on the plan was to “partner to keep care close to home.” This focus on providing excellent care in the areas appropriate for small community hospital while building stronger links and bridges with larger centres and growing capacity in virtual care to make the experience of patients more seamless and efficient was a huge game charger for these communities.
Since the approval of this plan new partnerships have developed with London Health Sciences Centre, Woodstock Hospital, the local CMHA, Senior Centre and other key partners. The hospitals have been able to focus on what they do best while also delivering on the promise of great care for everyone whether it will be provided in house or through a partner organization.